Hollywood paydays are hitting record highs, and the highest paid actors are still finding new and inventive ways to rake in the dough. This year’s highest-paid male actor also blew everyone else out of the water by leveraging co-producing.
5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made $22.5 Million for Black Adam
Dwayne Johnson’s foray into superhero movies was more than 10 years in the making. Once Black Adam actually made it into production, Dwayne was not only get paid US$22.5 million to play DC Comics’ Black Adam, but he also co-produced the film. Producers are really the ultimate winners of the film industry because they get paid a percentage of the movie’s net profits, although in this case, the film did poorly given an estimated budget of $260 million and $390 million gross according to Box Office Mojo.
Another important money maker for the wrestler-turned-movie star is his impressive online Rolodex. Johnson gets an extra couple of million (amount unconfirmed) for promoting the movie on his social media. With 350 million fans just on his Instagram (not counting his TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube watchers), Johnson is clearly one of the most active actors on social media. That should be a huge marketing boost for the movie, and it makes sense why the studio would pay through the nose to leverage it — although this time it flopped.
Fun fact: Dwayne Johnson earned a criminology degree while playing as the defensive lineman for the Miami Hurricanes.
4. Brad Pitt made $30 Million for an Unnamed Formula 1 Drama
Brad Pitt is one of the first names that come to mind when we talk about high-paid actors, and for a reason. The name hasn’t even been confirmed on this Formula 1 drama he’s doing with Apple studios, but he’s reportedly already been locked in for a huge payday. Web rumors say that he’ll be playing a veteran Formula 1 racer, and a Top Gun will direct the movie, Maverick director Joseph Kosinski.
Brad Pitt’s most recent title, Bullet Train, was a hit with audiences, although critics were slower to jump on the train (but aren’t they always?). Pitt was also paid US$30 million for that hit, showing that the Pitt hits just keep coming.
Fun fact: According to PopSugar, when Pitt played Tyler Durden, he volunteered to go to the dentist and have his teeth chipped so that the close-up shots of his character were as realistic as possible.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio made $30 million for Killers of the Flower Moon adaptation
Although Leo finally got his Oscar (emphasis on finally), he’s not done yet. Teaming up with Martin Scorsese through Apple TV+ and Paramount Pictures, DiCaprio will be acting alongside Robert DeNiro for $30 million according to ScreenRant. The movie takes place in the 1920s and follows an FBI investigation into the mysterious murders of members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma. An adaptation of the nonfiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, the movie is highly anticipated.
Fun fact: When pregnant with Leo, Mama DiCaprio (more appropriately called Irmelin Indenbirken) took a trip to Italy and was gazing at a Da Vinci painting in the Uffizi Museum in Florence when she felt her baby kick for the very first time. This heartfelt moment between mom and baby led her to name him after the famous painter.
2. Will Smith made $35 million for Emancipation
The bigger-than-life actor was rocked by a scandal earlier this year for slapping Chris Rock on national television at the Oscars. Many people wondered if that would be the end of his career. And while most are still cautiously hedging their bets, Emancipation, an Apple TV+ movie set in the 1860s and following the life of a slave, has generally received positive reviews. Some are even calling it Smith’s saving grace.
Fun Fact: Will Smith is the only actor with 8 consecutive films grossing over US$100 million at the domestic box office and 11 consecutive films grossing over US$150 million worldwide.
1. Tom Cruise made $100 million for Top Gun
And by more than a landslide, Tom Cruise comes in at number 1 for Top Gun. Although he only got a base pay of US $13 million for the sequel, he was also a co-producer. This credit of co-producer netted him a percentage of the film’s net profit. Considering the movie raked in almost US$1.5 billion worldwide (and is now Paramount’s highest-grossing movie ever worldwide), Cruise was able to clean up afterward, reportedly bringing in more than US$100 million for his role and involvement in the movie. It also marks the first of Cruise’s movies to pass the billion-dollar high water mark.
Fun fact: At age 14, Tom Cruise wanted nothing more than to become a priest. But, of course, this changed over the years, culminating in a record-breaking payday!